The Washington Post

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments passes gun-education measure

A resolution calling for strong gun-control measures that threatened to tear apart the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments was replaced Wednesday by a resolution calling for increased public education and training about guns.

Loudoun, Prince William and Frederick counties and Manassas had said they would pull out of the regional council if the original resolution was not withdrawn, and the new resolution passed by a vote of 21 to 3.

Some supporters of the original resolution were disappointed by what they saw as a watered-down resolution. Others said it was inappropriate and divisive for COG, which typically serves as a forum for regional cooperation on transportation, growth and environmental issues.

In March, a resolution passed that adopted a position paper from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. That paper supported an assault weapons ban, eliminating the “gun show loophole” and a mandatory five-day waiting period to buy guns, among other things. The resolution was inspired by the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

But some members of COG felt it was wrong for COG to take a stance on guns, much less one in favor of gun control. Loudoun and Frederick counties withheld their annual dues, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Prince William County and Manassas threatened to do the same.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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